The value of work-based learning opportunities are vital to helping young people have successful careers as adults. The following standards for work-based learning were established to insure that these opportunities are providing career skills that students need to succeed.
1. Work based learning is defined as continuum of outcome driven activity.
Business/community partners are essential to the framework and serve as the conduit for the culminating opportunity
2. Work-Based Learning continuum includes culminating experiences that are compensated.
Business/community partners will provide compensation for students’ work in a manner that rewards them for their efforts, thereby mirroring the real-world workplace; this compensation also holds the students accountable for developing real-world skill sets.
3. Work-Based Learning opportunities drive education equity.
Business/community partners provide an opportunity to all levels of student ability. They will provide opportunity to gain real world skills that will lead to achieving full intellectual and social potential.
4. Work-Based Learning is based on identified youth interests and learning objectives.
Business/community Partners are included in individual learning plans. They will be included in developing plans according to differentiated learning strategies and skill levels, and based on research (work based and employer defined) to ensure success with skill set.
5. Work-Based Learning is aligned with academic learning.
Business/community partners will be part of advisory board to complement and/or support core competencies and academic requirements and are part of course curriculum.
6. Work-Based Learning will produce valuable work that furthers employers’ organizational goals.
Business/community partners view that students are essential to pipeline for workforce development and will demonstrate the linkage for education and business world.
7. All participants are prepared for, and reflect upon, work based learning experiences.
Business/community partners will assist in preparation beforehand and goals will be understood by youth, school and employers.
8. Systems are in place to support work based learning participants throughout the experience.
Business/community partners will understand the organizational/operational structure that includes employer’s/school point of contact, supervision, an employer guidebook, orientation, employers’ liability. evaluation, a defined timeframe, and a third party to provide continuity of pre-internship training, implementation and post-internship follow up activities. The advisory board will also be part of regular progress monitoring of the organizational/operational systems to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of system.
9. Work-Based Learning is assessed against identified youth interests and learning objectives.
Business/community partners will provide performance evaluation. They will be partners in assessing data to measure changes in motivation, attendance, engagement and classroom achievement.
10. Work-Based Learning will occur in safe and supportive environments.
Business/community partners will comply with legal, health, and safety regulations. Partners will understand how to work with a diverse workforce.
(Gold Standards adapted from NAF.)